Here Comes Social Business

Extracted 14SEP2011 from

Post by Drew Neisser

Ethan McCarty, Senior Manager of Digital and Social Strategy at IBM, spent the better part of an hour with me [Drew Neisser] explaining the ins and outs while providing specific examples of how IBM is testing various social business approaches both internally and externally. In the end, I came away with these seven reasons why just about every company should be thinking about becoming a social business. [Go to link above for a full text for each of these reasons.]

1. Social media will be dwarfed by social business

With social business you start to look at the way people are interacting in digital experiences and apply the insights derived to a wide variety of different business processes.

2. People do business with people, not companies

IBM recently started adding IBM “experts” to various web pages--an action that in A/B testing dramatically improved page performance and revealed increased confidence and trust in IBM in focus groups.

3. Your employees need to be digital citizens, too

IBM not only trains its experts extensively, it is now building out “personal dashboards” to help them see the impact of their various interactions.

4. You don’t need to eat the whole social business elephant in one bite

...smaller building blocks helped pave the way for bigger initiatives like the expertise locator that now taps into nearly 3,000 IBMers from around the world.

5. A social business can be a good business, too

The same tools and processes that go into creating a social business can also be put to use for social good.

6. Enough already with the useless email chains

social business needs to employ more collaborative digital work tools (well beyond email) that are asynchronous, enabling a geographically disperse team to do great work together.

7. It’s okay to fail as long as you do it quickly is important to try lots of approaches and move on when one doesn’t work. IBM describes this as “agile development.”